Why March Matters…

It’s here! March is Blood Clot Awareness Month and while we believe that we should all be aware of the potentially deadly condition known as venous thromboembolism (or VTE) – a blood clot that is found most commonly in the leg or lung 1 every month of the year (and every day of the month), we’re still very pleased March is upon us as knowledge of VTE across the world is far too low, and any chance for it to be highlighted and talked about is a very good thing!

 

So now you know what the month is for, here’s what our list of blood clot facts ‘is for’…

 

B is for blood flow

If a clot partially or totally blocks the blood flow in your veins or arteries, it can lead to potentially life-threatening conditions. In fact, blood clots are the underlying cause of the world’s top three cardiovascular killers: heart attack, stroke and VTE 1.

 

L is for leg or lung

Blood clots are most commonly found in the leg or lung. In the leg, it is known as deep vein thrombosis (or DVT), and in the lung it is called a pulmonary embolism (or PE). A PE is formed when part of a DVT breaks off, and travels in the blood to the lung – this can quickly be fatal and it’s important to seek immediate medical assistance 2,3,4.

 

O is for on-the-move

Only 44% of people we surveyed knew that exercise was a great how to help lower your risk of developing thrombosis 5. But it really can be that easy – getting up and getting active is a great way to keep blood flowing healthily round your body.

 

O is for over 90 mins

Sitting down isn’t just about you not moving – it stops your blood moving properly, too. In fact, when you sit for over 90 minutes, the blood flow behind your knee halves, and your risk of developing a DVT greatly increases 6.

 

D is for DVT

We’ve already explained what a DVT is, but we haven’t explained how you’ll know if you have one… There are five main symptoms to look out for: pain in the leg, dilation of the surface veins, redness of the area, skin warm to touch, and swelling 7,8.

 

 

C is for clock

It sounds a lot, and it is a lot: every 37 seconds, someone in the Western World dies from a venous blood clot 9.

 

L is for lowering your risk

There are certain factors that put you at higher risk of blood clots, and while some can’t be avoided, some can. It’s really important that everyone not only knows the risk factors, but also knows what steps they can take to lower them… http://bit.ly/1DrOZcg

 

O is for only 20%...

Despite the dangers of PE, only 20% of people we surveyed said they would know actually what a PE felt like. Take time to learn the main symptoms; shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, chest pain, light-headedness and coughing blood 5.

 

 

T is for Thrombo Coach

We’ve mentioned a few times about how moving against blood clots is important, but we’re going to mention it again. Because it really really matters, and it’s also really really easy to do. However busy you are, there’s always ways to make #Time2Move. Check out all our ThromboCoach tips for yourself: http://bit.ly/1QqOVRD.

 

References

1 Naess IA et al. Thromb Haemost. 2007; 5(4):692-699

2 Patient UK. Deep vein thrombosis. June 2015

3 Kearon C. Circulation. 2003;107,(23 Suppl 1)I22-I30

4 Heit JA. J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2006;21,(1)23-29

5 ICM interviewed a random sample of 20,258 adults ages 18-64 in twenty countries across the world through online interviewing between 17th July – 11th August 2014. Surveys were conducted across each country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at "www.icmresearch.com"

6 Thrombosis UK: The Thrombosis Charity. Reducing the risk of e-thrombosis. February 2013

7 Turpie AGG et al. BMJ. 2002; 325: 887-890

8 NHS Choices. Causes of deep vein thrombosis. June 2015

9 Calculation extrapolated from the number of estimated VTE-related deaths across the EU (543,454 – see reference a) and US (300,000 – see reference b) per annum, divided by the number of seconds in a year. a) Cohen AT et al. Thromb.Haemost. 2007;98,(4)756-764, b) Roger VL et al. Circulation. 2012;125(1):e2-e220

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